Review of Marlin Motors, Norfolk VA

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On Saturday, July 14, 2018 we went to view a 1998 VW Cabrio  the dealer had numerous positive reviews and the condition of the car was very good considering its age.  The owner of the dealership, Jeff, also agreed to include a 6 month/6,000 mile Platinum Drivetrain Warranty that covered up to $5,000 of repairs at no cost to us.

There were several items we discussed prior to purchase that we were told would be done/checked by their mechanic.On the test drive the brakes felt a little soft.

The owner, Jeff, agreed that when he had driven the car only a day or so earlier, he also thought they felt soft.  He stated he would have their mechanic check them.

They are still soft.

The floor of the car on the passenger side was saturated and water was pooled under the front seat and in the floor boards in front of the back seat on the passenger side. The representative we were dealing with, Bryan, stated he would vacuum the carpets to get the excess water out, clean them, and spray with an anti-microbial agent.  He would also have the drainage tube blown out as it was most likely blocked and the water overflowed during a storm a few days prior.  At this time the owner, stated the flooding was due to his forgetting to roll the window up when he finished driving it on the day of the storm.

After delivery of the vehicle it was immediately apparent that the AC was leaking into the passenger compartment from under the carpet as you could see the water seeping through. Photos were sent.

I drove the vehicle through a car wash, and water began pouring in to the passenger compartment. I sent additional photo as well as a video taken while still in the car wash.  Video taken in car wash of leaking

On Saturday, the convertible top was not working. We stipulated that we would only purchase the car if the roof was working correctly.  We had them write it onto the deposit receipt and the contract that the roof must be functioning correctly.  They indicated they could only get a replacement hydraulic hose from VW and they were closed on the weekend.

The repair was to take place on Monday.  Due to the distance we traveled (2 hours/100 miles one way), this was not satisfactory as we did not want to make the trip again.  We agreed to split the cost of transport and they would ship the car on Tuesday.

They did not get the hose until Tuesday. Delivery of the Cabrio was scheduled for 1:00 on Wednesday. They “forgot” to leave the keys with the vehicle for the transport company that morning.  As such delivery was delayed until after 8:00 pm, it was already getting dark.  The transporter left without providing any paperwork or having me sign anything.  We immediately noticed that since Saturday, it had been involved in an accident that left scratches and residue of white paint on the front, bumper and panel around the wheel well.  The car is black so it stood out. Video of damage taken immediately after delivery

Jeff did offer to pay for it to be repaired and professionally painted in three weeks when his painter returned from vacation. He stated his painter would do the job for $200 and we could split the cost. This would entail 2 additional 5 hour round trip drives which is inconvenient and not safe (see last item).

On Thursday, I put the top down leaving work. Upon arrival home, the top would not go up. I went immediately drove to our mechanic, Allen Tire.  The mechanic stated that the top wouldn’t go up because there was no wiring connecting the motor to the switch. When I asked him what that meant, he stated that and the wiring must have been “rigged” somehow, because now there were no wires leading to the switch on the console to control the top.  He also stated there was no way they could not have known about the electrical issues.

I immediately left a message for Bryan stating the problem and we needed to arrange to return the car as the terms were not met. Several phone calls went back and forth but eventually culminated in the owner, Jeff, calling me to say he spoke to his “partner” and they could not give me my money back.

Bryan stated that we should bring the car back for them to fix and if they couldn’t they would in fact, refund our money. I told him I don’t have the ability to take another 5 hours for the round-trip drive, not to mention that I would have to do it twice; once to drop off then to pick up.  I would also have to take time off work to do this or be without a vehicle for a week while I spent two Saturdays going back and forth with my husband in a second car to bring me back home and back to them again.

I noticed the car is not shifting when on the highway (automatic transmission, stuck in 3rd gear) I took to a transmission shop. There were in fact 7 error codes being given when hooked up to the computer that were all solenoid electrical related. When they go under the dash, they discover that the wires to the “Check Engine” light had been cut.  This was preventing the warning light from coming on giving the false impression that there were no issues.

When the warranty company was contacted, they stated that none of these issues were covered and they covered only $2,000, not $5,000.

All we wanted was a refund and for them to take the car back.  Now we have to go the attorney route for auto fraud

16 years ago today…


The Art Of A Good Marriage
Wilferd Arlan Peterson

Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.

A good marriage must be created. In marriage the little things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once a day.
It is never going to sleep angry. It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon, it should continue through the years. It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives. It is standing together facing the world. It is forming a circle of love that gathers the whole family.
It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy. It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not looking for perfection in each other. It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humour.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow old. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal. It is not only marrying the right partner; it is being the right partner.


Happy 15th Anniversary

You’re everything I wanted and hoped you would be
You’re the very best thing that’s ever happened to me
Because of you I know who I am
I know where I’m going
I sure it was meant for me to love you
and just as sure it was meant for you too
My greatest wish is always be together
To find each other all over again
and know this is forever
So thank you for choosing me to share you’re life
and even more for being you’re wife
 

If My Body Were a Car

If my body were a car, this is the time I would be thinking about trading it in for a newer model. I’ve got bumps and dents and scratches in my finish and my paint job is getting a little dull, but that’s not the worst of it.



My fenders are too wide to be considered stylish. They were once as sleek as a little MG; now they look more like an old Buick.







My seat cushions have split open at the seams. My seats are sagging. Seat belts? I gave up all belts when Krispy Cremes opened a shop in my neighborhood.!



Air bag’s? Forget it. The only bags I have these days are under my eyes. Not counting the saddlebags, of course.

I have soooooo many miles on my odometer. Sure, I’ve been many places and seen many things, but when’s the last time an appraiser factored life experiences against depreciation?

My headlights are out of focus and it’s especially hard to see things up close.

My traction is not as graceful as it once was. I slip and slide and skid and bump into things even in the best of weather.

My whitewalls are stained with varicose veins.

It takes me hours to reach my maximum speed.

My fuel rate burns inefficiently.

But here’s the worst of it – almost every time I sneeze, cough or sputter….. either my radiator leaks or my exhaust backfires

HelloFresh? Hello Tummy!! Discovering Cooking with My Hubby! (A review and discount coupon)

My husband and I are not the Chef’s in our family.  That title goes to my brother who has appeared on the Food Network with Guy Frieri and inherited all of the cooking skills.   Everything we prepared was quite basic and many times consisted of more the “heat & serve” variety than true, from scratch cooking.


This past year we have been making an effort to cook more and in general be healthier.  We planted a salad and herb garden, but didn’t really know what to do with all the herbs.  We are not the most creative or skilled in the kitchen so we end up in a rut and soon tire of trying.


Enter HelloFresh! (Use code N4UXCY for $20 off)



A few weeks ago I received a Living Social email about a service providing everything included meal kits containing all fresh ingredients and step-by-step instructions on how to prepare.  They claimed that the recipes were easy to prepare and each meal took less than 30 minutes.  Hmmm, I had my doubts, but it was a good deal and what could be the harm in giving it a try.  Worst case scenario, we feed it to the dogs and cancel (which you can do by email instead of getting the “hard sell” on the phone).


The Website – The site is well designed.  It is clean, simple, without all the flash and irrelevant extras that can be overwhelming.  I found it to be very intuitive and easy to navigate.  I would like to see more nutritional information listed with the meals as I am reviewing next week’s selections.  However that information is provided on the recipe cards that come in your kit, so it’s a small quibble.


Meal Selection – Whenever I think of receiving goods using a subscription system, I cringe.  My mind flashes back to Columbia House and trying to beat the clock mailing the postcard holding delivery of the selection of the month.  How many of you ended up with tapes/CD’s you didn’t want and never listened to? (If you’re under 30, you may not get this reference, ask your parents)


HelloFresh makes it simple.  You receive 3 meals automatically every Thursday by doing nothing, but there are 2 alternates to swap out.  Personally I love this, because I hate seafood.  Changing your meals is as simple as unchecking one box and checking another.  It took all of 30 seconds to log in, change my selection and resume my life.


You can also skip a week, pause your subscription, or select vegetarian meals.


Delivery – As promised, when we arrived home on Thursday, our box was waiting for us.  On the outside it looks like a plain brown box.  Once you open it, you will find insulated padding about an inch thick lining the entire box.  Dispersed throughout the box we found 4 re-usable gel packs keeping everything cool.


I would like to see deliveries made earlier in the week.  The convenience of having these “kits’ delivered is reduced by feeling the need to cook them before they go bad.  This means that at least one or two have to be cooked over the weekend when many people like to eat out.  I think is especially true of couples like me and my husband.  Monday or Tuesday deliveries would better suit the needs of a working household looking for easy to prepare healthier meals after a long day at work.


Finally, the pièce de résistance, the meals!  If you are like me, you wouldn’t be able to tell a bag of fresh Rosemary from Thyme.  Thankfully, you don’t have to!  Everything was pre-measured, clearly labeled telling you not only what it was, but what meal it went with, and sealed.


The “recipe” cards that come with each meal are so much more than just your Grandma’s recipe cards. They start with a clear picture of everything you should have in front of you then tell you how to proceed step by step in both words and pictures.  The cards are over sized (think half a letter size paper), sturdy and laminated.  The lamination comes in handy when you get them wet or dirty, they wipe clean.


Our first box contained Pasta with Basil, Spinach and Garlic; Chicken with Mushrooms; and, Balsamic Steak with Garlic Zucchini.  They were all delicious and surprisingly easy to make. Each recipe took 30 – 45 minutes from start to finish, but I think that will become shorter as we learn how to chop, dice and slice more efficiently (I think I’ve run on long enough without reviewing each meal individually, though I most certainly could).



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My husband had so much fun making them; he pulled chicken breasts from the freezer to recreate the Chicken w/Mushrooms the next day.



We receive the 2 person meal plan which is $69.99 per week or $11.66 per meal.  That may seem a little high for some, but what you are receiving is more than just “food”.


For $11.66 a meal per person, you are receiving fresh ingredients, a complete meal kit, a delicious variety of dishes delivered to your door and the ability to prepare them yourself and taste like they were from a restaurant.  No shopping, no measuring, no guessing.  Not to mention it’s like having a cooking class in your kitchen three times a week.


We are trying things we never would have thought of or even thought we would like.  Balsamic Vinegar Steak? Say what?!?!  Much less thought we could cook these dishes in our own kitchen in the time it took to watch the news.


Best of all, we are enjoying learning new things and having fun doing it together!




Feel free to comment below with your own experience or questions about ours.